I started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2008 and have had more than a dozen Little Brothers through the program. I later served as an AmeriCorps member with the organization and had the opportunity to match Littles with their Bigs. Through these experiences, I have come across countless kids that have mentioned off-hand that they wanted to participate in an extra curricular activity like football or karate, but their parent/guardian couldn’t afford it.
Flash forward to 2014 when I received a call one day from my Little Brother’s grandma. The time had come to sign up for youth football, but there was one obstacle standing in the way — the $135 registration fee. She asked if I knew anywhere in town that gave scholarships for that amount. I knew there were a few places in town to get smaller scholarships, but not close to $135.
I promised her that I would find a way. That night I set up a quick online fundraiser asking friends to donate whatever they could to help my Little Brother register for football. With the help of six generous donors, I reached my goal in less than 24 hours. I had several friends and family members that wanted to contribute, but didn’t get the chance to before I reached my goal. Surely there were other kids out there that needed help with the registration fees associated with extra curricular activities. The Day Dreams Foundation was born shortly thereafter.
Our original board of directors consisting of Joe Bradley, Ellen Huch (Bradley), Marcus Williams, Justin Light, Victor Tran and Elly Lang first met on September 25, 2014 and the Day Dreams Foundation was incorporated by the State of Missouri on September 29, 2014. Our 501(c)3 status was approved by the IRS on November 20, 2014.
Thank you so much to everyone who has encouraged us from the beginning, especially Nancy Howard who helped us navigate our way through all the paperwork. And thank you to Catherine Rhodes Photography for donating their amazing talent and taking the photos of our Day Dreams kids that you see on the website!
– Joe Bradley, Day Dreams Foundation Founder and President